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Itzhak Perlman

Lesson time 07:20 min

Meet your new instructor: Grammy Award-winning violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Perlman tells you how this class will differ from traditional violin master classes and how through teaching others, you can teach yourself.

Itzhak Perlman
Teaches Violin
In his first-ever online class, virtuoso violin player Itzhak Perlman breaks down his techniques for improved practice and powerful performances.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] ITZHAK PERLMAN (VOICEOVER): I've been with music since I was practically born. It's my language. It's my way of life. [MUSIC PLAYING] To be a musician, it's almost like to be a magician. You have to do certain things that the listener doesn't know what you're doing. It's not easy to do. [MUSIC PLAYING] Think of yourself as a painter with a palette full of paints. You have choices. [MUSIC PLAYING] They are all at your disposal on the violin. [MUSIC PLAYING] - I want everybody to come in really fortissimo. ITZHAK PERLMAN (VOICEOVER): Teaching has been a very important part of my musical life, and I feel that it has helped me with my playing. Like I always say, when you teach others, you teach yourself. [MUSIC PLAYING] [APPLAUSE AND CHEERING] - Those steps-- you know, some things that are really easy for you are real hard for me. [MUSIC PLAYING] - Yeah, but some things are easy for you that are hard for me. [MUSIC PLAYING] ITZHAK PERLMAN: Violin is a very challenging instrument-- very challenging. You know, when you think about-- even when you think about a stringed instrument, such as a guitar, you have at least some threads-- you know that thing over there that you can put your fingers, and you know more or less where you are. Violin-- nothing. It's like playing by braille. You know, you are supposed to play by feel. So comparing a beginner on the piano and the beginner on the violin-- who can make a better sound right away? Well, guess. Of course, the pianist, because on the piano, you know, you press the finger on the key. Immediately, something mechanical goes on there in the piano, and there is a little hammer, and your string is tuned. You touch the string, and you've got the sound. If you try to do it on the violin, an immediate-- getting a sound even is-- is like this. That's that sound. You have to do so many things in order to make this successful. So it's very challenging. - All right, try from here. [MUSIC PLAYING] ITZHAK PERLMAN (VOICEOVER): At first, I did a lot of normal master classes, which is one on one in front of an audience. - Ah, ah, ah, more, more, more body-- da, de, da, de. Now you go. Don't rush. Don't rush this time. Plenty of time. ITZHAK PERLMAN: The old-fashioned master classes is when the student plays and the teacher says, oh, that's very nice. Let me show you how it goes. And then the teacher plays. And he says, now you go ahead and play it. So the teacher plays, and it's like great, you know. And then the poor student has to-- now you play that. So you know, that's-- that's not teaching. That's basically showing. And, of course, you deal with a lot of kids who have fantastic ears. So when they hear something, they imitate it. And that's why I don't like-- I try to stay away from showing too much because I want whenever they do something to be their own, not because they heard somebody ...

Play with passion

The world’s reigning virtuoso violin player, Itzhak Perlman performs for presidents, royals, and classical music lovers around the world. Now the beloved Juilliard instructor and 15-time Grammy Award winner brings his passion for teaching to a wide audience for the first time. Learn fundamental techniques, practice strategies, and how to add richness and depth to your sound. Give your most dynamic performance yet.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This was beautiful. Masterclass is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. It is inspiring and powerful to be exposed to human beings who have become so completely themselves and also so transparently their art. Mr. P "radiates." Thank you.

after the first 2 classes, I've already learned so much that i didn't know about! so excited for the rest!

it has inspired me to practice more effectively and musically. I also know better, what it takes to become a great artist, and how to deal with some of my barriers.

He is Legend of Violin. I love this course! Thanks for making these High-end Course.


A fellow student

I watched all of the videos. Itzhak Perlman is fantastic and there is no doubt on that. But if you are looking for a documentary about playing violin go ahead and purchase this class. All the material mentioned in this class can be found online in youtube with more details. Remember, you are paying to watch a documentary about playing violin with Perlman narrating the documentary, not a learning series of lessons. You wanna learn how to use bow and divide bow correctly when you play each piece and each Technic. In this masterclass you may learn what is violin and where those sounds come from. You will never learn how to produce those sounds or play a single simple piece e.g. Minuet 2 Bach from Suzuki Vol. 1.

Alexey M.

Unfortunately, subtitles are displayed before the speech. Can you pls fix it?


dear masterclass team, the video is not playing and there is a display saying 'Error could not download video"


Dear Masterclass team, the timeline staying in the foreground in all videos is very distracting, often it covers a caption. Is there a way to make it disappear? Thank you.

David H.

What is the background at 2:01? Is there are a way to purchase this art? This is beautiful

Peter M.

The opportunity to learn from Itzhak Perlman is priceless. Thank you Masterclass!

seunghyun J.

Subtitles off problems is raised 3 month ago. So Why still this problem appears..?

A fellow student

Nothing unknown. But I have to revive all. I realized, that I had a very good violin education


Can anyone please take a look at the subtitles ? It is totally off. It does matter to me. Thanks.

Leah H.

A lovely video composition engaging my interest and eagerness to work through the masterclass with Maestro Perlman. A very nice intro also to the Maestro imparting his warmth and love of the violin. Really enjoyed the graphic designs and I was heartened to hear il Maestro emphasis that he teaches not by 'showing' but by giving us the tools and know how to progress. I am happy to be partaking in this Masterclass. Thank you.